Published: Mon, April 23, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Trump slams Dems for objecting to Pompeo

Trump slams Dems for objecting to Pompeo

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee this evening is scheduled to vote on CIA Director Mike Pompeo's nomination for Secretary of State.

"After meeting with Mike Pompeo, discussing his foreign policy perspectives, & considering his distinguished time as CIA Director & his exemplary career in public service, I will vote to confirm Mike Pompeo to be our next Secretary of State", the West Virginia senator tweeted.

That means if all who are opposed to the nomination are opposed to sending it to the floor at all, even unfavorably, Pompeo has a really big problem. Yet Tillerson was confirmed on a party-line vote of 56-43.

"We are in an era where somebody like this, who is qualified, unfortunately, is likely to be voted out without recommendation or with a negative recommendation", Sen. Several senior Democratic aides CNN has spoken to say it's unlikely that path will be pursued. "It's just sad that our nation has devolved politically to this point".

Key Democrats on the foreign relations committee have indicated their opposition to Pompeo's nomination, even Democrats who voted in favor of Pompeo's appointment to run the Central Intelligence Agency past year.

"I believe our nation's top diplomat must be forthright, and, more critically, his past sentiments do not reflect our nation's values, and are not acceptable for our nation's top diplomat".

"Nothing could better underscore the importance of getting America's top diplomat in place for such a time as this", White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders tweeted.

The Trump factor hasn't been the only sticking point for Democrats, who have argued that Pompeo's previous statements regarding Muslims and LGBT rights and his hawkish views should disqualify him from serving in a key diplomatic role. She said Pompeo convinced her that he's committed to empowering the diplomatic corps and filling key vacancies such as US ambassador to South Korea.

Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., who was among the last Democrats on the panel to announce his no vote, said he's is concerned that Pompeo "will embolden, rather than moderate or restrain" Trump's "most belligerent and risky instincts". But with Paul a firm "no" and Senator John McCain absent due to illness, Pompeo can receive at most 49 Republican votes.

Trump has said he was doing some last-minute lobbying to bring Paul back to the fold, however.

REPORT WITHOUT A RECOMMENDATION - The committee can vote to send a nomination to the full Senate without a recommendation, which would still allow a vote.

Like Trump, Pompeo has voiced vehement opposition to the landmark 2015 deal that curbed Iran's nuclear development efforts.

In his confirmation hearing, Pompeo vowed to rebuild staffing and morale.

Trump has threatened to abandon the accord on May 12, when the next deadline for sanctions renewal comes up.

If confirmed, Pompeo will succeed Rex Tillerson, whom Trump fired last month via Twitter after about a year on the job.

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